Earthing the Myths: The Myths, Legends and Early History of Ireland


October 2021

Daragh Smyth

The first All-Ireland county-by-county guide to myth-related sites.


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In Ireland, the link between place and myth is strong, and there is no more enlightening way to understand the rich tapestry of Irish mythology, and its relationship to our true history, than by reading the landscape. Earthing the Myths is an engaging and exhaustive county-by-county guide to the vast number of fascinating places in Ireland connected to myth, folklore and early history.
Covering the period 800 BC to AD 650, this book spans the Late Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the early Christian period, and explores the ways in which the land evolved, and with it our catalogue of myths and legends. Smyth chronicles sites the length and breadth of the country, where druids, fairies, goddesses, warriors and kings all left their mark, in tales both real and imagined.
With over one thousand locations recorded, from Rathlin Island to the Beara Peninsula, Earthing the Myths breathes life into places throughout Ireland that find their origins in our pre-Christian and pre-Gaelic past, and shows that they still possess unique wisdom and vibrant energy.

About the Author: Daragh Smyth is a retired lecturer from the Dublin Institute of Technology and co-founder of Saor Ollscoil na hÉireann (The Free University of Ireland). He was in charge of the Erasmus programme at D.I.T., where he taught Irish Cultural studies to students from Europe, Australia and North America. Smyth has published two books with Irish Academic Press: A Guide to Irish Mythology (1996) and Cú Chulainn: An Iron Age Hero (2005).

Praise for Earthing the Myths

‘Handsomely produced and nicely illustrated … [Earthing the Myths] is a thoroughgoing county-by-county (within each of the four provinces) guide to archaeological sites throughout the island of Ireland – and a section on related sites located in western Scotland to boot. There is the added value of the narration of stories associated with the legends for which Ireland has been famed … It could well become an oft-referred-to work of reference.’
Trevor Parkhill, Familia: Ulster Genealogical Review